On a small island off the California coast it's the Fourth of July and tourists are washing up dead. Mysterious sea creatures called Aquanoids are responsible.On a small island off the California coast it's the Fourth of July and tourists are washing up dead. Mysterious sea creatures called Aquanoids are responsible.On a small island off the California coast it's the Fourth of July and tourists are washing up dead. Mysterious sea creatures called Aquanoids are responsible.
As Aquanoids opens you spend a couple of minutes taking in the fact that this truly IS a low-budget film. REALLY low-budget. It's an amateur film. They open with an aquanoid attack in 1987 then jump 16 years in time. We later learn that 17 people were killed during that summer. Our heroine, looking like a bustier, less talented Eliza Dushku, is still mourning the loss of her mother that summer. She knows an aquanoid when she sees one and starts her crusade to close the beaches and stop the ferocious aquanoids. Vanessa says the aquanoidS are back, but we don't really see more than one at the time. The aquanoid costume probably represented one of the bigger posts on the meager budget. We should respect that. The mayor of course doesn't want the threat to leak out and takes a few precautionary measures. We also have some inquisitive reporters that don't really add much to anything. It's influence from superior films like, Jaws, Humanoids from the Deep and others are obvious. They even mention several of its predecessors. At least that shows the movie is self conscious. Not that it helps much, but a little.
So just what's the deal with Aquanoids? Well, there are plenty of things to notice and reflect upon when watching it. Laurence Hobbs playing Jackson is one of the great things about this movie. Seeing his costume, a pair of pants and a grey t-shirt I can't help but wonder if that was what Hobbs put on when getting up that morning. Just put on whatever you have. His acting style is relentless! Jackson is utterly hilarious when exclaiming: "I can't believe it got into Lovers Cove!" Like that is something unbelievable. Was that a fact so terrible your mind simply refused to comprehend it? Jackson also witnessed one of the aquanoid attacks back in 87. He just happened to be standing at the beach with binoculars at night. But, hey, so was I! Another wonderful scene is when Vanessa's friend at one point asks her for an opinion on something. She's made an impressive sign on the computer reading: DANGEROUS WATERS! ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK! Vanessa says: "I think that will work!". That is truly brilliant stuff! The evil mayor and father-of-the-year award winner at one point tell his daughter: "Now look, I don't want any alcohol at the party. We don't want to pump your stomach again!" He's playing the role of the concerned parent. While being evil! In all fairness he does singlehandedly represent all the acting credibility in the movie. Trying to earn it a higher rating we get a half-assed gory autopsy. I think we've seen enough scenes in other movies with an iron-stomach pathologist who eats while doing his thing. Do something else. At the end Vanessa learns that Jackson is in fact her father. She is shocked and I am shocked that she was shocked. We were both shocked. What shocked and disappointed me even more was her inability to get topless. I expected that from a title like Aquanoids. Others do though, in very random fashion.
The technical aspects are quite, shall we say puritan? Whenever we have some underwater shots you can't help but think it's a pity the BBC wildlife photographer must have slept late that day. They make a daring attempt at split-screen. They even dazzle us with three different images at the same time! The scene itself isn't half-bad, with a somewhat dynamic car chase. A couple of times I could see their attempt to create a certain something in tone and even though the execution for the most part didn't work, it felt sincere.
Bottom line is that YOU could probably make this film. It's quite possible to do. Just use whatever you have and improvise the rest. Aquanoids is by no means good, or particularly competent, but I'm still happy someone put an effort into making a horror movie, even if it was a pretty bad one.
- Jan 6, 2011